Members of the inaugural 2014–2015 Minority Fellowship Program-Youth (MFP-Y) master's fellowship cohort have joined the behavioral health workforce, serving the target population of at-risk, minority children, adolescents, and transition age youths.
CSWE’s fellowship, funded by a grant from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, provides in-person and virtual trainings, professional development, and a financial stipend to 40 social work students in the final year of their master’s program at colleges and universities across the country.
As of October 2015, 78% of the 2014–2015 cohort has secured employment providing mental health care to the target population. Fellows are based in rural to urban locations with the majority working in mental health or substance abuse agencies. Others serve in settings including schools, hospitals, and child welfare organizations. Fellows are using educational experience and supplemental training expertise provided by the CSWE Minority Fellowship Program to alleviate critical shortages in the mental health workforce, including several filling bilingual therapist positions. Combined, fellows report that they work with more than 750 underserved, racial/ethnic minority clients each week.
The 2014–2015 fellows remain integral to the MFP-Y network as alumni and continue to report on their successes and challenges in the field, connect with incoming fellowship recipients, and share reflections such as the following about their experiences.
“The training that I have received as an MFP-Y fellow has directly contributed to my growth as an emerging social work professional . . . increasing minority professionals in mental health is an absolute necessity for removing barriers to treatment for the target population. I have increased my capacity as a practitioner . . . and have gained indispensable knowledge. I will carry this honor with me always.”
“My involvement in MFP-Y has helped me to feel part of a larger national network of people who are passionate about working with youths. When interacting with fellows, I feel energized, motivated, and part of a movement of those who will change America's mental health landscape for the better!”
More information about MFP-Y and its fellows is available at www.cswe.org/mfp. The next master's fellowship application cycle will open in spring 2016.